The launch of a major Windows 10 update like the May 2019 Update isn’t the end of a process — it’s really just the beginning. As soon as a big feature update is released, Microsoft quickly gets to work on improving it by fixing bugs, releasing security patches, and occasionally adding new features.
Here we’ve summarized what you need to know about every Windows 10 update being released to the public. First come updates to the currently shipping version of Windows 10 — version 1903, known as the May 2019 Update — with the most recent updates on top. (Note that the May 2019 Update is on a phased rollout, so you may not have received it yet.) Below that are updates to version 1809, known as the October 2018 Update; version 1803, the April 2018 Update; version 1709, the Fall Creators Update; and finally updates to version 1703, the Creators Update. For each build, we’ve included the date of its initial release and a link to Microsoft’s announcement about it.
Windows 10 May 2019 Update (version 1903)
Version 1903, called the Windows 10 May 2019 Update, is the most recent feature update to Windows 10. Here’s a quick summary of what’s new for users in it. (For more details, see our full review.)
Windows 10 Home and Pro users can now control whether to install the twice-yearly feature updates like the Windows 10 May 2019 Update via a new “Download and install now” option. However, when users’ current version of Windows reaches what Microsoft calls “end of service” — the point at which Microsoft no longer supports it — Windows 10 will install the latest feature update automatically. End of service is typically 18 months after a Windows 10 feature update is released.
Windows 10 users can pause any minor Windows updates that Microsoft issues in between the big feature updates for up to 35 days.
Cortana and the search box have been separated. To perform a Cortana search, you can say “Hey Cortana” and speak your search, click the Cortana icon to the right of the search box and speak, or press the Windows key + C and speak. All other searches are done by Windows Search.
You can now use search to find files in any location on your PC, not just in default libraries and folders like OneDrive, Documents, Downloads, Music, Pictures, Videos, and Desktop. However, that requires indexing, which reduces laptop battery life and could slow down PC performance.
You can uninstall more built-in apps than previously, including 3D Viewer (previously called Mixed Reality Viewer), Calculator, Calendar, Groove Music, Mail, Movies & TV, Paint 3D, Snip & Sketch, Sticky Notes, and Voice Recorder.
What IT needs to know: The Professional and Enterprise versions of Windows 10 get a new security tool called Windows Sandbox. It lets you test out software and websites in their own containers, so that if they’re dangerous, they can’t get to Windows 10 itself. Close the sandbox, and the software or website vanishes.